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Thread: Hybrid Roof Rack (sorry 4x4mike)

  1. #1

    Hybrid Roof Rack (sorry 4x4mike)

    First of all I have been fighting with a design for quite some time although lighting didn't strike my bowling ball brain of mine till 4x4mike's build thread caught my attention.

    Second of all I didn't want to thread jack but I could always use some input. I have someone to assist me with the welding which should help tremendously. Here is my wish list for my roof rack

    1. Full roof length- I don't have a sunroof to worry about so this does make it easier in the design area.
    2. Weight- I wouldn't put more than 400lbs up top anyway but I want to save the 400lbs for gear....not the rack.
    3. Hybrid design- I have an 8ft Yakima Rocketbox that is particularly awesome for road tripping since it helps with the aerodynamics and protects stuff from the elements without a tarp crackling in the wind.
    4. Light mounts- This is part of the whole camping out of the truck deal. Ideally I would like the ability to mount 4 corner lights (probably pods) to illuminate for trail and campsite.....and maybe just maybe I can talk the wife into a nice 20" light bar up front later.
    5. Low Profile- Again without the lighting bolt I wasn't sure how I was going to do this while still being able to mount the RocketBox but mike's basket is the inspiration for this build without a doubt. Is it wrong that I feel like the design engineer from one of the big 3 for copying a design?

    So far this is what I have in mind. Granted it's just a frame but it will be developing. The rack is 7.5' long and 45" wide with a roof clearance of .5" which should clear the roof curve but just barely. Middle supports are .5x1x.060" and the main frame is 1x1x.090".

    Roof Rack.jpgRoof Rack2.jpgRoof Rack3.jpg
    98 3rz 4x4 5spd- Monstalined, 99 Talls, 4.30 E-locker, Extra Lights
    In Progress:
    Tundra/Rear Disc Brakes w/parking brake
    Roof Rack/Rear Ladder
    Sliders
    1st Gen Rollbar Shelf

  2. #2
    Here are my 2 cents and a suggestion.

    A full length rack that could hold 400 pounds is going to be pretty heavy. If it's something you're going to use all the time it will work out well. If not it's a bit too much in the overkill column.

    Our buddy Stuart built a rack I like. When I thought about redoing mine I was going to do something similar. His basket is about the same size wise, maybe smaller than my original version but it's removable. He built two crossbars out of rectangular tube with angled down feet. This is a picture of the shape of the crossbars:



    At the time of that pic he only had one bar made but all he needed it for was a flag mount, already very versatile. He ended up making another cross bar and welded tabs along the inside of the bars allowing a basket to be supported and bolted in. He built it that way because he has a canoe that is best held by cross bars. With his design he has cross bars as well as a basket and can mix and match for his needs.

    Here it is with two Rotopax and a solar shower. Nice and low like mine.





    I do like the design of the images you posted but maybe consider making it in pieces. Like three crossbars with basket sections between them. Sean would need to chime in about extending a rack over the sun roof area as he's got feet that rest on the roof and not the rack tracks. I assume they sit still but I would imagine there would be vibration on fast dirt roads.

    The baskets would have to be made so that the cross bars would be in the correct mounting locations for the Rocketbox but other than that you'd be golden. Another possible benefit with smaller pieces is the construction and storage. For me welding longer pieces to other longer pieces is harder because I'm not consistent with the heat and things tend to get out of square. If it was a large piece it would be much harder to get back aligned.

    In your other posts you talk about getting everything outfitted for getting out. Trailers, Rocketboxes, hitch racks, etc. Full length racks look cool but see if you really need that much roof space. Once you venture far out from the tracks you bring on some added complexity. A Rocketbox can hold a lot of stuff and can be mounted to something within the tracks.
    Last edited by 4x4mike; 09-10-2014 at 09:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Kryptoroxx View Post
    The rack is 7.5' long and 45" wide with a roof clearance of .5" which should clear the roof curve but just barely. Middle supports are .5x1x.060" and the main frame is 1x1x.090".
    I have no idea on the dimensions of my rack or the material used. We have a couple nice steel suppliers locally and I bought a bunch of remnant material and I've never measured it. I do know that I built it so it would sit close to the roof and I bent part of the rack when I got up there and started walking around a few years ago. I've since bent it back using blocks of wood and stomping around on it again while it was removed from the roof.

    Build your feet pretty stout so you don't have any bending. Width wise mine is just narrower than the rack tracks and any wider I would worry about bowing the material when it was loaded and romped offroad. I wanted mine to be somewhat lightweight so these were concerns while building.

  4. #4
    Have you run out of space in the vehicle yet? Its should be the final frontier of space used. Poor gas milage and high center of gravity make it the worst place to put things. Firewood and gas are the only things I put up there these days and I can't fill a 1/2 rack on my worst days.

  5. #5
    I'm with Troy. Four people, two of them in car seats, does change things but you have to get creative with space. The car seats mean you're not able to fold down the seats. Even with one seat and the 4Runners 50/50 rear seat, you're down a bit if space. Firewood, solar shower and light items are what go on my rack if I can help it. I can fit everything inside for 3-4 days, any more days requires more space for the family especially if we're boon docking.

    One of the main reasons I extended my rack was for looks. When it lived inside of the Yakima setup it looked at home. Outside it looked off and required a front factory bar. I had the material in my scrap box so I built a 'front'. I leave it on because I have frequent trips to Home Depot for items like lumber and hitching up my trailer is not worth it.

    Figures that last weekend when I had my rack off for welding and painting my weekly HD trip yielded three, 8 foot 2 X 6's. I would have loved to have them on the roof but I had to put them inside, over the kids heads, under the passenger seat head rest and almost on the dash. I've done worse but it's nice always having something up there and it's nice when it doesn't have too many trade offs.

  6. #6
    I tend to use mine more to transport the odd home depot dimensional product or steel from IMS. That being said, I have found times when I threw stuff up there. Stuff that you don't want in the cabin, like gasoline, wet clothes, etc etc. or lightweight stuff like empty water jugs, chairs, tents, etc.

    400 pounds dynamic load (that is, 400 pounds of stuff going down the highway) is way excessive, and IMHO dangerous. 150-200 is the max I would ever put up there, depending on rack weight.

    Here is my thread: http://www.ultimateyota.com/showthre...w-Profile-Rack

    I have been very happy with the 1"EMT. It's close enough to 0.60 wall tube that it doesn't matter. The load bearing cross bars used 3/4" RMC, which is nearly the same OD and has a wall thickness around 0.100. I am actually surprised how rigid the rack is once it's all welded up.

    I will eventually toss my RTT up there, and that would be the heaviest thing I would ever put on the roof.

    If you want my solidworks files in something sketchup can digest, let me know. I never completely finished them, but they are a decent starting point. Solidworks reads it out at ~40 pounds, so it is probably around 50.
    Last edited by Seanz0rz; 09-10-2014 at 06:32 PM.
    2005 Lexus LX470 - Stock for now...

    1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6 4x4 + a bunch of goodies. Lifted, Locked, Illuminated and Armored. Winner,"Best Offroad Truck" - 2010 Pismo Jamboree. It's been upside down and still drives me to work.

  7. #7
    Sorry guys I am reading everything but it's a really long work day. I have answers for questions and as always the advice/ideas are awesome.

    I just can't type very well on a phone. It's smarter than I am.
    98 3rz 4x4 5spd- Monstalined, 99 Talls, 4.30 E-locker, Extra Lights
    In Progress:
    Tundra/Rear Disc Brakes w/parking brake
    Roof Rack/Rear Ladder
    Sliders
    1st Gen Rollbar Shelf

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Seanz0rz View Post
    I tend to use mine more to transport the odd home depot dimensional product or steel from IMS. That being said, I have found times when I threw stuff up there. Stuff that you don't want in the cabin, like gasoline, wet clothes, etc etc. or lightweight stuff like empty water jugs, chairs, tents, etc.
    That reminds me. When I build mine, I'd like to make a compartment for "doggy bags", if you catch my drift. That way when we take the dogs walking and we pick up after them, it doesn't have to be in the truck with us until we find a trash can.
    -------------------------
    Steve
    1993 4runner, SAS, 3.0L, Auto Tranny
    2007 4runner, stock. For now.

  9. #9
    I always liked the idea of the xterra's roof basket. Not sure how well it worked.
    2005 Lexus LX470 - Stock for now...

    1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6 4x4 + a bunch of goodies. Lifted, Locked, Illuminated and Armored. Winner,"Best Offroad Truck" - 2010 Pismo Jamboree. It's been upside down and still drives me to work.

  10. #10
    So here's the big post.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4mike View Post
    Here are my 2 cents and a suggestion.

    A full length rack that could hold 400 pounds is going to be pretty heavy. If it's something you're going to use all the time it will work out well. If not it's a bit too much in the overkill column.
    I don't think I was very clear on that honestly. I was considering the 400lbs as the load dynamically. I think you and Sean are correct. The rack would probably weigh around 100lbs...and that's way more than I want to heave even once. I would like to keep the platform attached but the fairing and lights will probably get stored inside the rocket box when not in use.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4mike View Post
    I do like the design of the images you posted but maybe consider making it in pieces. Like three crossbars with basket sections between them. Sean would need to chime in about extending a rack over the sun roof area as he's got feet that rest on the roof and not the rack tracks. I assume they sit still but I would imagine there would be vibration on fast dirt roads.

    The baskets would have to be made so that the cross bars would be in the correct mounting locations for the Rocketbox but other than that you'd be golden. Another possible benefit with smaller pieces is the construction and storage. For me welding longer pieces to other longer pieces is harder because I'm not consistent with the heat and things tend to get out of square. If it was a large piece it would be much harder to get back aligned.
    I like the multi-piece idea. I might be able to use clamps like what I'm using for the roll bar mod (http://www.polyperformance.com/shop/...lamp-p-66.html) although I would have to find them in a square shape.
    I'm sure that the measurements might be a tad off but I have been running in and out of the house with a tape measure for over a day trying to make it to scale.

    With keeping the feet grounded I would use the molding tape that I used on the fenders. If it can hold the limited fenders to my truck it can keep the feet grounded as long as the rack isn't warped too badly.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4mike View Post
    In your other posts you talk about getting everything outfitted for getting out. Trailers, Rocketboxes, hitch racks, etc. Full length racks look cool but see if you really need that much roof space. Once you venture far out from the tracks you bring on some added complexity. A Rocketbox can hold a lot of stuff and can be mounted to something within the tracks.
    I know and one of the reasons that I come up with a lot of ideas is because I am feeding off of everyone's input as well as what I have done. I have a ratio of ideas to money that is close to a 1000:1. I have to do something out here in the desert otherwise I would go absolutely looney.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4mike View Post
    I have no idea on the dimensions of my rack or the material used. We have a couple nice steel suppliers locally and I bought a bunch of remnant material and I've never measured it. I do know that I built it so it would sit close to the roof and I bent part of the rack when I got up there and started walking around a few years ago. I've since bent it back using blocks of wood and stomping around on it again while it was removed from the roof.

    Build your feet pretty stout so you don't have any bending. Width wise mine is just narrower than the rack tracks and any wider I would worry about bowing the material when it was loaded and romped offroad. I wanted mine to be somewhat lightweight so these were concerns while building.
    I'm still working on the feet. I would like them to be attached to the main frame so I might just have all the feet in the track attach to the cutouts for the yakimas. Keeping the rack height low enough and getting the feet in the tracks is the problem I am facing but I will figure something out.

    Quote Originally Posted by troyboy162 View Post
    Have you run out of space in the vehicle yet? Its should be the final frontier of space used. Poor gas milage and high center of gravity make it the worst place to put things. Firewood and gas are the only things I put up there these days and I can't fill a 1/2 rack on my worst days.
    YES! One of the reasons I want to do a full rack is because I want to use the rocketbox and the rack at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4x4mike View Post
    I'm with Troy. Four people, two of them in car seats, does change things but you have to get creative with space. The car seats mean you're not able to fold down the seats. Even with one seat and the 4Runners 50/50 rear seat, you're down a bit if space. Firewood, solar shower and light items are what go on my rack if I can help it. I can fit everything inside for 3-4 days, any more days requires more space for the family especially if we're boon docking.

    One of the main reasons I extended my rack was for looks. When it lived inside of the Yakima setup it looked at home. Outside it looked off and required a front factory bar. I had the material in my scrap box so I built a 'front'. I leave it on because I have frequent trips to Home Depot for items like lumber and hitching up my trailer is not worth it.

    Figures that last weekend when I had my rack off for welding and painting my weekly HD trip yielded three, 8 foot 2 X 6's. I would have loved to have them on the roof but I had to put them inside, over the kids heads, under the passenger seat head rest and almost on the dash. I've done worse but it's nice always having something up there and it's nice when it doesn't have too many trade offs.
    I am sure that I will not use it every day but there are many times I have had to put all kinds of stuff inside.....when I did not want to. My 4runner has smelled like all kinds of stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seanz0rz View Post
    I tend to use mine more to transport the odd home depot dimensional product or steel from IMS. That being said, I have found times when I threw stuff up there. Stuff that you don't want in the cabin, like gasoline, wet clothes, etc etc. or lightweight stuff like empty water jugs, chairs, tents, etc.

    400 pounds dynamic load (that is, 400 pounds of stuff going down the highway) is way excessive, and IMHO dangerous. 150-200 is the max I would ever put up there, depending on rack weight.

    Here is my thread: http://www.ultimateyota.com/showthre...w-Profile-Rack

    I have been very happy with the 1"EMT. It's close enough to 0.60 wall tube that it doesn't matter. The load bearing cross bars used 3/4" RMC, which is nearly the same OD and has a wall thickness around 0.100. I am actually surprised how rigid the rack is once it's all welded up.

    I will eventually toss my RTT up there, and that would be the heaviest thing I would ever put on the roof.

    If you want my solidworks files in something sketchup can digest, let me know. I never completely finished them, but they are a decent starting point. Solidworks reads it out at ~40 pounds, so it is probably around 50.
    I will think about it but for right now I'm trying my hand at designing it on my own. I'm still learning and Sketchup isn't the best program I've worked with but it is free. I like AutoCAD but the last time I worked with it was 12 years ago too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robinhood4x4 View Post
    That reminds me. When I build mine, I'd like to make a compartment for "doggy bags", if you catch my drift. That way when we take the dogs walking and we pick up after them, it doesn't have to be in the truck with us until we find a trash can.
    Ya know I thought about this with wag bags but I hadn't thought about storing them up top. If I can do a bolt together fairing or a one piece that would keep something light like that from flying away that would be well worth it.

    So now on to the evolution of the design. I tried to make a model of the rocket box but the cube that I replaced it with looks much better lol. I just wanted to give everyone an idea of how big it is and what the position of it is on the truck. I have the rocket box in the most forward position the factory rails will allow and the back end of the rocket box still hangs over a little in the back. I suppose if I wanted to get really fancy with the rack I could make my own mount for the rocket box into the roof rack. It's a pair of u-bolts with a tie plate on the inside of the box.

    It is a lot more developed now but I am sure that it will change several more times but this is a rough idea I was envisioning. The rocket box opens on the passenger side so the driver side would be left open for the bulk items.

    I am trying to keep it as simple as possible while making it a flexible rack. The fairing was a tossed on item and I'm not even sure I would use one however it might help with mpgs and noise.

    I haven't gotten to the side rails/tie downs yet. I am mulling a couple of ideas over in my head.
    1. Big spike tie downs (I do like that idea)
    2. Aluminum angle bolted in with slots cut for tie downs
    3. a tiny .5x.5" railing around the edge with supports 1" high
    4. 300lbs tie downs welded to the 1x1" square tubing at various locations (kind of expensive)
    Roof Rack Plain 2.jpgRoof Rack Plain.jpgRoof Rack Rocket Box 2.jpgRoof Rack Rocket Box.jpg
    Last edited by Kryptoroxx; 09-11-2014 at 06:54 PM.
    98 3rz 4x4 5spd- Monstalined, 99 Talls, 4.30 E-locker, Extra Lights
    In Progress:
    Tundra/Rear Disc Brakes w/parking brake
    Roof Rack/Rear Ladder
    Sliders
    1st Gen Rollbar Shelf

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